La Roche Names Men's Lacrosse Coach
PITTSBURGH, pa — La Roche College has announced the addition of Men's Lacrosse Head Coach Anthony Stamatopoulos. Coach Stamatopoulos will be building a varsity team for the inaugural lacrosse program at the college, which will begin its first season in academic year 2010-2011.
He joins La Roche from Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa., where he served as director of operations – assistant coach. He is a resident of Pittsburgh.
La Roche is part of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in NCAA Division III. The college decided to add men's lacrosse to its varsity roster for several reasons, one of the primary ones being that the sport has been steadily gaining national popularity, according to Athletic Director Jim Tinkey. Stamatopoulos is the perfect fit as a coach to come in and build a successful program, Tinkey said, given his background and prior experience.
"I'd like to thank AD Jim Tinkey and Vice President of Student Life Colleen Ruefle for this opportunity and for the support they have provided to me as we work to build the program from the ground up at La Roche," Stamatopoulos said. "The support and enthusiasm from the entire La Roche community has been unbelievable, and that will help us to make great strides quickly."
Stamatopoulos is a Baltimore, Md., native who played lacrosse while growing up and attending high school. He took a break from regular play when he earned his bachelor's degree in HVAC/R Engineering Technology from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. While there, he served as assistant lacrosse coach from 2002-2003 and then as head coach from 2003-2005.
In 2005, Stamatopoulos moved to Pittsburgh for a role at the Department of Energy and helped builders and national organizations learn about maximizing energy performance in new homes. He also began his role as head coach of Carnegie Mellon University's lacrosse team, which he implemented from the ground up.
In 2006, he began coaching Steel City Select, an elite WPIAL lacrosse travel team and joined Robert Morris in 2008.
Stamatopoulos has founded or directed several lacrosse camps and was named the 2007 CCLA Coach of the Year. He says his immediate objective at La Roche is to recruit players, which he hopes to procure initially from western Pennsylvania and regionally. He will rely on his expertise in establishing new and young programs, as well as helping a young team to learn and grow together.
"Lacrosse is a great sport, and our new players have the unique opportunity to help build something special at La Roche," he said. "Lacrosse is gaining in popularity because it combines skills from every sport – you can personalize it, it's fast, it's great to watch and it's open to various sizes of players. Once you play, you're hooked."
Lacrosse has rapidly become a premier sport at several colleges and universities, Stamatopoulos said, and he sees that potential at La Roche. "We'll have a large presence on campus," he noted.
He remains active as a player himself, on occasion, but Stamatopoulos said his immediate goal is to introduce La Roche's program to western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.
Interested players and individuals should visit www.laroche.edu and go to the Athletics Department home page for more information about the lacrosse program. They also may contact the Athletics Office at 412-536-1001 or Stamatopoulos at 412-926-0587.